It is easy to fall in the trap of believing that a single person, event, or time is the determining factor in getting to the next step. People, events, and time are all crucial to growth and success, however they are still pieces of an orchestra in need of an orchestrator and leaders are the orchestrators.
People need leadership. Even the absolute best and most successful want it and need it. When we hear of organizations that have fantastic customer service, operational efficiencies, financial results, etc., we know that they have great people. We also know they have great leadership throughout the organization. Team leaders at every level are periodically setting new goals, motivating and caring for their team members, and doing everything they can to hold them accountable and help them be successful. There are a tremendous number of great people, however what determines success is how they work together and leadership.
Events need the influence of Leadership. At any given time, organizations should have a list of impending events that could positively or negatively effect their success. Without leadership, awareness is either lacking, or no action is taken to influence the probability of these events. Taking the lottery tiket approach is irresponsible. If we anticipate the good and the bad, we must do everything in our power to influence the outcome.
Time can be our friend and with time comes wisdom. However time can be a trap if the belief is always “that will come with time”. The reality is that things do take time. It takes making it through a 1-2 year sales cycle with a new product before we can deteremine if it will be successful long term. It takes a year or more for new key people in the organization to completely understand the organizationa and their role. However, too much acceptance of the time factor is a dangerous excuse. While we have a responsibility to be realistic in our planning, budgeting, etc, we also have the responsibility to lead the organization and others in an effort to defy perceived time contraints. For example, lets say we have a change that we know needs to be made, but we do not know how to go about doing it. It is both irresponsibile and a waste of time if we do not seek advice and knowledge from others that have the experience. Great successes take a tremendous amount of work and time, however leadership can have a huge impact on the amount of time and energy that goes into the effort.
The only magic wand that exists for things we have not accomplished or do not yet know, is leadership.